XL Cafe Racer Project

The term Cafe Racer has been used a lot lately, almost to the point of annoyance. Just put some clubman’s on your Honda, paint it flat black and call it Cafe Racer. Back in the 60’s and 70’s that was not the case though. Many Americans did not know what a Cafe Racer was nor did they care. When Harley saw the popularity in other countries they must have thought they could hitch their wagon to that term and makes some profits. The problem was, Harley riders wanted big, loud, 2-up, cross country bikes that reminded them of the ol’ days so they didn’t buy the XLCR. The people who were buying Sport bikes associated Harley’s with big, loud, 2-up cross, country bikes so they didn’t buy them either. That caused the XLCR to only be produced for 1977-78 and it was considered a flop. Well, yesterday’s flops are today’s collectables.

1978 Harley Davidson Sportster XLCR Cafe Racer for sale on eBay

Here’s what the seller has to say.

1978 Harley Davidson Sportster, XLCR Cafe Racer.  These rare bikes were designed by Wille G. Davidson himself and only produced for a couple of years (77-79) with less than 3500 total ever produced for sale.  A rare find and a piece of true USA motorcycle history, not to mention one very cool ride.  This exsample is a barn find and will need some work to fully restore but “everything” is orignal and the motor is free, so should not involve too much to bring her back to her former glory.  I have manuals, parts book and some spares to go with her to assist in the restoration.  On a scale of 1 to 10 for the foundation of a project bike I would rate this XLCR as an 8+.  She is not missing any of the impossible to find parts, sheet metal is good, bike is in good overall condition and has a clear title, ready to go.  Email me with any questions.  I reserve the right to close the auction early as this XLCR is for sale localy as well.

I just read that these bikes are worth about $9000 for a nice one. The seller claims that this one has all the rare goodies that you can’t find and that it’s all original. Saying “the motor is free” means it doesn’t run so keep that in mid if you’re thinking of bidding. Does have a title though. I think his starting bid is about what it’s worth based on how much work you’d have to put into it. You won’t accidentally find yourself going a 140 mph on this or be dragging your knees on the first corner. They only go about 100 mph and they handle just ok. For some reason I find myself wanting one of these though. Maybe it’s because my Dad has been riding HD’s for 50 years. Anyway, the XLCR is guaranteed to go up in value and be a very fun project so go get it. 

~Buck

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